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New and Notable Books (January 2015)

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I am in the enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books, and with a new year comes a whole new batch of books that qualify as notable. Here are a few of the highlights that have shown up in my mailbox recently.

Doriani1 Peter by Daniel Doriani. I’ve often said that the Reformed Expository Commentaries are just about my favorite commentary set. They are always well-written, theologically-deep, and doctrinally-pure—a killer combination. Because they are based on sermons, they are useful for Bible study, sermon preparation or personal devotions. 1 Peter has been written by Daniel Doriani, a regular contributor to the series, and D.A. Carson says this about it: “Among the many expositions of 1 Peter, this REC volume stands out. It is exemplary in its careful handling of the text, theological robustness, and fresh writing. Unsurprisingly from the author of Putting the Truth to Work, which is the best treatment available on application, this exposition of 1 Peter is loaded with the best kind of application: faithful to the text, reflective, never forced, often telling.” (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books or Amazon)

EcclesiastesEcclesiastes by Douglas Sean O’Donnell. 1 Peter is not the only new entry in the Reformed Expository Series. Douglas Sean O’Donnell has prepared the volume on Ecclesiastes and it is shipping now as well. Derek Thomas provides this endorsement: “Ecclesiastes is a book for our time: its relentless examination of the source of meaning and relevance finds echoes in every facet of contemporary life and its restless pursuit of happiness. Douglas Sean O’Donnell’s treatment of Ecclesiastes is both fresh and thorough. … A wonderful achivement.” I can hardly wait to read it! (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books or Amazon)

MinglingThe Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption by Matt Chandler. Matt Chandler has teamed up with Jared Wilson on several books and their partnership continues in this one, which is based on Chandler’s sermons on Song of Solomon. Here is what the publisher says about it: “The Song of Solomon offers strikingly candid—and timeless—insights on romance, dating, marriage, and sex. We need it. Because emotions rise and fall with a single glance, touch, kiss, or word. And we are inundated with songs, movies, and advice that contradicts God’s design for love and intimacy. Matt Chandler helps navigate these issues for both singles and marrieds by revealing the process Solomon himself followed: Attraction, Courtship, Marriage … even Arguing. The Mingling of Souls will forever change how you view and approach love.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

Hand in HandHand in Hand: The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice by Randy Alcorn. Few authors have left a more indelible imprint on my life than Randy Alcorn, so I am looking forward to diving into this new book which examines the tension between God’s sovereignty and human choice. “In Hand in Hand, Randy Alcorn says that the traditional approach to this debate has often diminished our trust in God and his purposes. Instead of making a one-sided argument from select verses, Alcorn examines the question in light of all Scripture. By exploring what the whole Bible says about divine sovereignty and human choice, hand in Hand helps us carefully and honestly examine the different views on this issue; gain a deeper understanding of God; appreciate God’s design in providing us the freedom of meaningful choice; learn how to communicate about the issue in clear and compassionate ways,” and more. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

PsalmsThe Book of Psalms by Nancy deClaisse-Walford, Rolf Jacobson & Beth LeNeel Tanner. A new volume in the venerable New International Commentary on the Old Testament series always qualifies as noteworthy, and especially when it takes on a book as significant as Psalms. In this 1,000-page volume the three co-authors provide commentary on all 150 psalms. I am certainly not qualified to evaluate the quality of their work, so while we wait for the reviews we will simply consider it new and noteworthy. (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books or Amazon)

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    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

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    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…

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    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…